Who hasn’t looked up at the stars in wonder? Humanity has been stargazing for thousands of years. The Pyramids of Egypt and Mexico and Stonehenge in Britain are in fact Astronomy devices. However today you need something just a little more portable. If you are planning to stargaze on the go then fixed – telescope devices aren’t the right approach. And a stone monolith won’t fit in your SUV either. So, what are the best stabilized binoculars for astronomy?
Let’s dive in with our top 3 candidates for best image stabilized binoculars for astronomy.
3 Best Binoculars for Astronomy
Criteria for what binoculars are best for astronomy
With Astronomy, there are straightforward criteria when selecting the best image stabilized binocular. Here are the key ones:
Optical performance and parameters
This is down to magnification, wide angle and objective diameter (which dictates the sharpness or resolution). So, for example, our #1 pick of the Canon 18×50, magnifies by 18 times and has an objective diameter figure of 50. That’s like a really good DSLR zoom in. The #3 pick of the Canon 10×30, magnifies by 10 times and has an objective diameter figure of 30.
The quality of the lenses (how accurately they are ground) also makes a difference, as does the use of special lens coatings to reduce flare and other optical artefacts – although that’s not such an issue for night viewing especially on cloudy nights
Lens coatings that reduce light loss are important too on astronomy models, where low light is the normal viewing situation.
Type of stabilisation
- Active mechanical (battery-powered offset movement of lenses or prisms). This compensates for movement mechanically;
- Passive mechanical (gyroscopic stabilization). This uses the gyroscope effect to physically stabilize the binoculars;
- Digital (motion stabilization based on a static reference point). This complex technique is only found in some digital binoculars.
Size and Weight
All large object diameter binoculars tend to be bulkier and heavier than small object diameter models, which have a ‘small face’. Image stabilization models also tend to be heavier due to the stabilization technology and the need for batteries – up to 4 AA types can be used. If you put these two facts together, you get heavier and bigger than normal binoculars and some are a bit too much for astronomy for children – you’d need to find something a bit lightweight. Small binoculars are generally better and more practical for children’s needs.
Some binoculars can be awkward when wearing glasses. Some models are better than others for glasses wearers.
Weather is always unpredictable, so a water-resistant model is a sensible choice. Some vendors offer fully waterproof models, which is worth thinking about (together with a flotation strap) if you are near or on the water.
Then, of course, there is the cost. It’s worth considering bundles that include accessories. Don’t just go by a headline sticker price – there are packages suited to stargazing which are very affordable because lots of accessories come with them too. You don’t always have to pay top dollar either, just because some website review tells you that you should. There are perfectly good models out there for astronomy which are more suited to a beginner who doesn’t need a high-cost device. Finally, buying online is topical right now, with all the lockdowns going on. So, we recommend looking online and considering a less well-known brand as well as a popular one. Here at USDIGITECH, we really don’t like to make a list that only looks at commonly rated models with top reviews. We believe that everyone is different and that each of us has different needs and varied budgets.
Now let’s look in detail at five candidates for the best choice of stabilized binoculars for astronomy.
Top Rated Image Stabilized Binoculars for Astronomy
1. Canon 18×50 IS Image Stabilization All-Weather Binoculars
Best for high performance
This Canon 18x 50 (model 4624A002) uses a porro prism design. The magnification and sharpness are terrific, like a powerful zoom. You get battery powered stabilization of up to 0.7 degrees, which is good for handheld operation. This is really at the top end for astronomy amateurs and the cost puts it out of the reach of what most beginners are likely to want to pay. It’s a superb example of engineering though and if you have the money – why not?
Verdict: If you have the money to spend, this is a great way to spend it.
2. Fujinon Techno Stabi TS1440
Best for overall price versus performance
These slightly lower priced binoculars from FujiFilm use 4 × AA batteries (two more than the Canons) to deliver a class leading 5 degrees of stabilization at up to 14x magnification. So. you get better stabilization than the Canons but less magnification.
If affordability is important, this Fuji 14×40 set might fit your pocket a little more so than the Canons. They also have the useful feature of a mains power option to save battery life. Their waterproofing is a bit better than the Canons too but their optics -while very good – don’t quite match the Canons, at least in our opinion. They are still a great model and we really like their ergonomics.
Verdict: If you really want great stabilization, this is the model to go for.
3. Canon 10×30 IS Image Stabilization II Binoculars
Best compact model
If you are looking for a lower cost, rugged design, which is a lightweight and smaller size, these second Canon models are well worth considering. Magnification is a much more modest 10x but battery-powered stabilization is still good at +/- 1 degree and they are less than half the cost of our first two models. Then, add the consideration that these are just 21.2 ounces and you have a very attractive lightweight affordable proposition.
Verdict: If your budget is more modest, these Canons are a logical alternative for astronomy to our first and second choices.
4. Fujinon Techno-Stabi TS1228 Image Stabilization Binocular
Best for astronomy beginners and stargazing kids
Our fourth on the list is this lightweight, compact and lower cost 12×28 model from FujiFilm. It is ideal for beginners or kids and despite the much reduced price, you still get a good looking night sky pictures via the use of proprietary Fujinon lens coatings and phase coated prisms and also a very respectable ±3 degrees of battery powered image stabilization. We really like the one-finger roller bar adjustment too.
Verdict: Ideal for astronomy if you want something reasonably priced which still gives great levels of stabilization
5. ZEISS Optical 20×60 Image Stabilization
Best for the astronomy cognoscenti
Our final model is one for those in the know and in the money. Ignore ratings and 3.5-star “average reviews” brought down by those people who probably shouldn’t be buying them anyway. Look at the 5-star reviews of the Zeiss by people in the know.
If you have a lot of cash to spend on astronomy as a hobby, then these Zeiss are the Ferraris or Rolls Royce of image stabilized binoculars. We mean, you don’t buy a Ferraris or Rolls Royce and then complain about the fuel consumption or the lack of a second cupholder on an internet site, do you?
A massive 20x zoom and 60x object diameter delivers stunning images. A Germanic high-precision Gyro delivers amazing stability. What more do you need to know?
Verdict: Like those clothes shops in LA, New York and London that don’t show their prices, if you are concerned about the cost of these Zeiss, then you should just keep quiet and move on. If you have the money, they are absolutely and totally outstanding.
Best Stabilized Binoculars for Astronomy
So, astronomy fans, we have chosen four practical and sensible image stabilized binoculars for astronomy that will do the job nicely. Plus one luxury item we love too.
|1||occer 12x25 Compact Binoculars with Clear Low Light Vision, Large Eyepiece Waterproof Binocular for...||23,568 Reviews||$35.99||Check Price|
|2||Adasion 12x42 High Definition Binoculars for Adults with Phone Adapter and Foldable Tripod, Super...||14,855 Reviews||$55.90||Check Price|
|3||JLHT 40X60 Monocular Telescope High Power Monocular for Adults with Phone Adapter& Tripod& Hand...||2,179 Reviews||$36.88||Check Price|
|4||Binoculars 20x50 for Adults,Waterproof/Professional Binoculars Durable & Clear BAK4 Prism FMC...||725 Reviews||$49.98||Check Price|
|5||Celestron – Nature DX 8x42 Binoculars – Outdoor and Birding Binocular – Fully Multi-coated...||3,747 Reviews||$99.99||Check Price|
We hope you have found this list and review useful for your stargazing and please let us know your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading and hope you see that supernova…
Last update on 2022-11-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API